Dijon Vinaigrette

My husband loves loves loves this, I make it a lot! There are different variations to share, but once you get into the grove of making this very easy dressing, you'll find your own twists to make it unique.

I learned this simple recipe from a Parisian woman, when I lived in France. I thank her to teaching this to me.

I don't go by measurements for this one, as I do for other recipes, because its all up to taste and consistency. The status quo for oil to vinegar is 3 to 1, (i.e. 3 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp). Here's the ingredients and then I'll discuss the process:

Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar (any vinegar works)
Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste

Easy ingredients, easy to prepare. What I do is start with the mustard and place about 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp into a small mixing bowl. I then pour in enough olive out to cover the mustard up. Then I add in the vinegar, keeping its ratio small to the olive oil. Add in the Salt and Pepper, and with a small wisk or fork, wisk all ingredients together, until the mixture is emulsified, the consistency should look creamy, no signs of separation, if you see this, continue to work with it until you get the smoothness, it will get there, trust me! If you get tired get your spouse to help you, its rare for me that it takes a while. Et voila, you have your vinaigrette basics.

How to mix it up?
Have you been to the grocery stores lately, and walked down the aisle with the oils and vinegars? There are so many choices! Let's play with the palettes. If you're having an Italian dinner, instead of red wine vinegar, maybe opt for the white wine balsamic vinegar. If you're serving steak, with bold flavors, use red wine balsamic for that bold flavor to carry through in your salad. For something light, red wine vinegar is perfect. I've even used the basis of my vinaigrette for an asian twist, using rice wine vinegar, half olive oil half sesame oil (sesame oil can be really over powering, so I cut it with olive oil), still dijon as that is what makes the creamy texture, and some soy sauce and pepper, eliminating need for salt use. Yum!

Also, some extra add-ins that are great:
Chopped shallots
Crushed fresh garlic
Lemon juice ( if you have a lemon a little squeeze is all you need, if you have juice a lemon shaped bottled, about 10 drops-this is generous, if want less then go with that)

Any of these do amazing things to the vinaigrette.

How to serve:
I usually opt for baby spinach, or any really green earthy leaves. First I pour vinaigrette to bottom of bowl, and then add spinach on top, and then toss the salad lightly to evenly coat all the pretty leaves with the vinaigrette. Action is kind of like "folding" egg whites. Then plate it, and you're all set!

Happy experimenting and Bon Appetit!